FIRST HOUSE ON THE HILL (2017) Reviews and overview

 

First House on the Hill is a 2017 American horror film about four friends that decide to spend a weekend in a mansion owned by an old lady. The situation is flipped upside down once they come across an ancient haunted tarot deck that will change the fate of their lives…

Directed by Italian filmmaker Matteo Saradini from a screenplay co-written with Kristian Messere.

The Nocturnal Eye Film production stars Chloe Farnworth, Christine Scherer, Lou Volpe, Kristian Messere, Umberto Celisano, Ottavio Taddei, Helene Udy and Sonja Kinski (daughter of actress Nastassja Kinski and granddaughter of actor Klaus Kinski).

Reviews:

“Shows that even if a horror movie is full of super cool visuals, without real atmosphere or interesting characters or good dialogue or an engaging plot, it can still end up being an enormous slog to get through. I get what it’s trying to do, but man, this thing was tedious…” William Hopper

“The film takes forever to get going, we’re at the thirty-minute mark before they even get to the house. The events of the first night are so tame it’s funny, not scary […] To be fair things do pick up in the last twenty or so minutes but it’s way too little and way too late. We can guess the big twist and we don’t really care.” Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:

Helene Udy … Madame Windsor – Last Village on the Right; The Possession of Mia MossStirringSwamp Freak; et al
Sonja Kinski … Dorothy – Holidays; The Wicked Within
Eugenia Kuzmina … Alice
Chloe Farnworth … Tera
Lou Volpe … Father Matthew
Paola Saulino … Waitress
Kristian Messere … Henrick
Umberto Celisano … Samuel
Ottavio Taddei … Gardener
Christine Scherer … Valerie

Filming locations:

Malibu, California
Mountain View Cemetery – 2400 N. Fair Oaks, Altadena, California
Gemini Manor, Hollywood, California

Technical details:

85 minutes (original version]
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1
Audio: D-Cinema 48kHz 5.1 (Dolby Digital 5.1) | Mono (16 mm prints)

Watch the trailer on YouTube

Watch full film free online via Kings of Horror

MOVIES and MANIA comment and rating:

First House on the Hill seems to be an attempt to conjure up an early 70s Euro-horror ambience via its widescreen cinematography, moody lighting and Carlo Poddighe’s easy-listening infused score. Unfortunately,  the four dreary and irritating characters onscreen spout unbelievable and pretentious dialogue and have none of the charisma of those from the bygone era the film seems to want to emulate. The result is a tiresome chore to watch.